States must address prison drug use to get funds Administration directive builds on '97 treatment law

January 12, 1998|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Seeking to cleanse prisons of illegal drugs, the Clinton administration plans to tell the states that they have to determine and report the extent of illicit drug use among their inmates before they can receive more federal money to spend on prisons.

The information that the states provide will be used to create a baseline to measure their progress in reducing drugs inside prison, which in turn will qualify them for more federal money.

President Clinton is scheduled to sign the directive in the Oval Office today.

The document reflects a belief within the administration that crimping the supply of drugs in prison will cut the demand for them after convicts are released.

The directive builds on legislation that Clinton pushed through Congress last year. The law requires states to draw up comprehensive plans to test and treat prisoners and parolees as a condition of receiving money for prisons from the federal government. The states have to present their plans by March and implement them by September.

The directive would go beyond that in requiring that states report on drug use by prison inmates and demonstrate progress toward eliminating it.

Pub Date: 1/12/98

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